Traveler’s diarrhea and probiotics. Can we prevent it?

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Are you preparing for a trip but are you afraid of traveler’s diarrhea? According to studies, among the millions of people who travel daily around the world, about 20-50% may experience diarrhea, nausea or vomiting during the journey.

Even if travel diarrhea is particularly undesirable and “sabotage” your journey, it is not dangerous to health. In order not to spoil your holidays, however, you should prepare your body appropriately and take some precautions.

 

What Is Travel Diarrhea?

It is essentially a gastrointestinal disorder that occurs in the first week of travel and most of the time subsides within 3 to 5 days. The most common cause of travel diarrhea is infection by pathogenic microorganisms, mainly of bacterial origin and less frequently by viruses or parasites, from contaminated food and water.

The microbes which are responsible for 80% of cases of travel diarrhea are mainly Escherichia coli and species of Shigella, Campylobacter, Salmonella, Aeromonas and Plesiomonas shigelloides.

Microbes attack intestinal cells and release toxins (enterotoxins) that destroy intestinal flora and enterocytes. The result is that bowel function is impaired and that a number of unwanted symptoms occur.

 

Symptoms of travel diarrhea

The most common symptoms are diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and fever. If the symptoms are too intense or do not recede, then you should visit a doctor or a hospital.

There is, of course, the rational question of why people living in high-risk countries are not affected. The answer is that their body has been adapted and their immune system has developed the appropriate defenses (antibodies) against pathogenic microorganisms.

Risk factor for travel diarrhea are:

  • destination (countries of Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East)
  • age (younger children are more vulnerable)
  • season (in the summer and in the rainy season there is a greater risk)
  • food and water consumed
  • tweak immune
  • medical history (diabetes, inflammatory bowel diseases, etc.)

 

Prevention of diarrhea travel

Prevention is definitely the best treatment, but it is not always effective in traveling diarrhea. General rules are:

  • Eat cooked food and avoid street food
  • Drink always bottled water
  • Avoid drink coffees and beverages with ice

 

How can probiotics help travel diarrhea?

Taking probiotics in combination with prebiotics has been studied for both treatment and prevention of travel diarrhea. Studies suggest that taking probiotics can prevent 12-45% of the cases of travel diarrhea, making them an easy and practical health ally on your journey.

Probiotics are bacteria that co-exist with humans and colonize the body and most importantly the gastrointestinal tract. They offer many health benefits but mainly protect the body against pathogens.

The most studied strains are Saccharomyces Boulardii, a class of yeasts as well as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum. Taking probiotics should begin several days prior to the trip so that they can properly modify the intestinal flora and effectively shield the body. If diarrhea has already begun, taking probiotics is also helpful, as it helps to restore the bowel more quickly and reduce the intensity of the symptoms.

 

Formulation of probiotics

They are usually available individually or in formulations with various probiotic strains, prebiotics and nutrients. For ease of transport, formulations of probiotics intended for the prevention and treatment of travel diarrhea do not need a refrigerator for their maintenance.

So, if you prepare yourself for a long trip, you can supply your pharmacy from Vita4you with one next travel diarrhea products:

 

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